Thought I'd share this blog entry I wrote yesterday on www.martynstead.co.uk:
Back in the late spring I found myself with some time on my hands and I made one of the best decisions of my life; I signed up with http://www.surreysatro.org/ as a volunteer business games facilitator and STEM Ambassador. During June and July I was involved at a fair number of schools helping with their Bradford Business Games in which teams of students compete with each other as mini-enterprises, learning about Sales, Marketing, Finance, negotiation, production, quality control and, above all, the value of teamwork. On each occasion I came away with a real buzz – the excitement of watching the students get to grips with so many aspects of the business world is like a drug.
Today was my first chance to get involved with a different game altogether, the Global Trading Game. Wow!
This game doesn’t deal directly with business, but it’s an incredibly thought-provoking simulation of how world trade works – teams represent countries with some being richer than others, some technology-rich but resource-poor and others having lots of raw materials but no cash and very little technology.
The students are all Year 5 (i.e. 9 or 10 years old) but it was wonderful to see them quickly move beyond “It’s not fair, they’ve got scissors and we haven’t” to grasp the possibilities of trading what they did have for what the others needed – and the discussion afterwards on the principles of Fair Trade was even more rewarding than the game itself.
Sometimes we have to remind ourselves that there’s more to life than pure business, and being able to put something back into the community and being rewarded by seeing the light come on in kids eyes as they grasp the realities that this game represents is just so fulfilling.
Can’t wait for the next one.
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